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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? Written and illustrated by Mo Willems. Hyperion, Hachette. 2012. $17.50 ages 2 and up

"Ohhh...there's more! Sometimes I ask for a hug. Or I'll ask for one more story. I can't count the times I've asked for my own personal iceberg. I ask to stay up late. Oh, yeah, I'm the asking-est pigeon in town! But do I get what I ask for?"

I have missed Pigeon! In his first book in four years, he remains true to the beloved and manic character we met in his previous stories. The Duckling, that endlessly polite and gentle foil to Pigeon's gregarious and caustic ways, is back as well. And he would like a cookie.

What does he do? Why, he asks for it and he does so politely. That he gets the cookie he asked for is a source of delightful surprise. It is just what he wanted, with an added smattering of nuts. Pigeon is not impressed. Of course, it sets him off on a familiar tirade, screeching loudly about the unfairness of it all. Emotion is everything with him.

It is that emotion that makes these books such fun to share with readers of all ages, adults included. I can hardly wait to take it on the road with me in coming weeks. The artwork seems so simple; yet it expresses everything that both Pigeon and Duckling are feeling with slight adjustments to the eyes, the body positions, the aura of movement.

Just as the dam is about to break, Duckling leaves Pigeon virtually speechless. All the pigeon is able to sputter is:

"Hubba - Whaaa?!?"

It doesn't even seem cheesy. It is just right for this particular character.Thank goodness it is Duckling who has the last word...and I laughed out LOUD! Note Duckling's look of total disdain!

Bring on the cookies!

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